Dialogue With Avengers Will Lead To Rise Of More Violent Groups, Bayelsa Lawmaker Warns FG

Buhari-MilitantsThe only member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Isreal Sunny-Goli, on Friday warned the Federal Government against any negotiation with the Niger Delta Avengers.

Sunny-Goli, who represents Brass Constituency 1, said the militant group does not represent the views or aspirations of majority of Niger Delta people and deserves no dialogue with the government.

The lawmaker, however, urged government to continue with its consultations with genuine stakeholders to find permanent solutions to problems bedeviling the oil-rich region.

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Sunny-Igoli, who made this position known in a statement in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, warned that any attempt to negotiate with a violent group like the NDA would further plunge the region into trouble.

“Negotiating with such group is a terrible misnomer capable of plunging the region in the rat race for destructive influence”, he said.

While lamenting the resurgence of militancy in the region, he said: “As a representative of the people and community leader, I wish to express my worry over some of the approaches being pursued by officials of the federal government in the search for solution to the problem.

“I am particularly worried about the reported attempt to fix a negotiation between the federal government and the Niger Delta Avengers – or its allied groups.

“Niger Delta Avengers does not represent the people of the Niger Delta, and their demands and procedure does not embody the popular aspirations and sentiments in the region.

“The group is, to all intents and purposes, a gang of foot soldiers assembled by some politicians and persons on the wrong side of the law as a bargaining chip to try to escape punishment or get a soft-landing.

“Any negotiation with Niger Delta Avengers would encourage more fringe groups to arise with similarly warped demands that the government would never be able to meet”.

Mr. Sunny-Igoli also hailed the current efforts of President Muhammad Buhari to resolve issues in the Niger Delta through peaceful means.

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